Cottee: West Ham board must take share of blame for poor form

11:30 14 May 2015

Tony Cottee

Tony Cottee


Our West Ham columnist Tony Cottee believes uncertainty about Big Sam has affected the team

Sam Allardyce the West Ham manager(Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)Sam Allardyce the West Ham manager(Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

It was another disappointing show from West Ham at Aston Villa on Saturday and I have to say that one of the reasons for the downturn in form has been the uncertainty over the future of the manager.

Big Sam has said he is not bothered, while the board have said they will sort it out at the end of the season, but how can that be right for the players who don’t know who they will be playing for next season?

It has been a real season of two halves for us. Before Christmas we surprised everyone and were right up there, since then things have not gone well and some of that has to be down to uncertainty and for that, the board have to take their fair share of blame.

Alex Song came on and did well in the second half at Villa, but he really illustrates what has happened to West Ham this season. He was superb at the start of the season, but has really done very little since Christmas and I can’t see us taking Barcelona up on the offer to sign him for £15million. I think money would be better spent elsewhere.

(left to right) West Ham United Chairmen David Sullivan, David Gold and West Ham United Chief Executive Karren Brady(left to right) West Ham United Chairmen David Sullivan, David Gold and West Ham United Chief Executive Karren Brady

I was at the Hammer of the Year awards last week and I have to say that Aaron Cresswell thoroughly enjoyed his three trophies.

The best players in the Championship always up their game when they come into the Premier League and Aaron has done that superbly.

A lot of players like him don’t get the chance to show what they can do, but Aaron has taken his chance in the best possible way.

He has been consistent all season and I was delighted to see him get the trophy.

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke (left) and West Ham United's James Collins battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham.Aston Villa's Christian Benteke (left) and West Ham United's James Collins battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park, Birmingham.

It is the battle between two of my old teams on Saturday when Everton come to Upton Park and at least there is something on this match as the teams sit 10th and 11th.

Everton have been off form in the last two games, losing at home to Sunderland on Saturday and they have certainly underachieved as most would have expected them to be in the top seven.

We are three points ahead of them at the moment, so I would say that rather than a ‘must-win’ game, this one is a ‘must not lose’.

It may not be as exciting as the FA Cup replay between the two teams, but I would like to see West Ham showing a bit more attacking endeavour and a good win could give us the impetus to go on and catch Stoke City for ninth place.

Not losing is the plan though, so I will go for 1-1.


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